Sake has been a popular drink in Japan for centuries and is now gaining popularity worldwide. Sake is unique because there are many different types of sake, each with its flavor and aroma. Sake packaging design is becoming more critical as this drink becomes more popular.
There are many different ways to package sake, and each way can impact the brand differently. Creating an attractive and memorable packaging design for your sake brand is essential to capitalize on this growing trend.
We will discuss sake packaging design and the factors you need to consider when creating your brand. We will also provide tips on making your product stand out from the competition. Let's get started!
What Are Sake and its History?
As ancient China developed a technique to ferment rice into an alcoholic beverage, it arrived in Japan around two thousand years ago, along with rice cultivation. Since then, Japanese people have continuously refined production methods to create a unique drink called Sake.
After the rice was first cultivated in Japan over 2000 years ago, Sake took a few hundred years to develop, with kuchikami-zake being one of the earliest forms of the drink documented today. There is no need for machinery or technology; all that is required is a strong jaw and teeth capable of chewing rice grains.
As this 'mouth-chewed sake' is spat into a vat, it is fermented with enzymes in human saliva and natural yeast, producing alcohol as a result. It is fortunate for those of us who appreciate the finer points of Sake that more conventional methods were developed in the eighth century, as described in the Kojiki, or 'Record of Ancient Matters. Additionally, a brewing department in the Imperial Palace in Nara was established in A.D 689, when Sake gained prominence.
21 Sake Brands with Amazing Packaging Design to Inspire You
Packaging design as a means of product branding gained enormous popularity these days. The main purpose of product branding is to convey to customers a strong sense of identity and personality through the brand image. The graphic design industry is a field that has a lot of talented and versatile designers.
In terms of visual identity, sake brands and products are among the most popular branding examples. Here, we will depict some sake brands and their designers' projects.
The Nami sake originated in Culiacan, Mexico, and was inspired by Japanese culture. Ancla Studio from Culiacan designed Nami Sake's first and second edition sake packaging designs.
As part of their second edition's new idea, they created the label and packaging (glass bottles) to fuse two distinct concepts: Mexico and Japan. As part of the bottle design, Ancla used raised lines to represent the geometric shape of the wooden barrels used in ancient Japan to brew sake.
Additionally, Ancla used Mexican color groups to distinguish between the different stages of rice polishing. With the semi-transparent bottle, they wanted to give the impression of lightness and compete with other drinks like gin and tequila.
In Japan, Sogen Azarea is a highly regarded saké brand. POST HYPHEN is the designer studio responsible for the sake packaging design for Sogen Azarea. This designer studio is based in Brooklyn, Newyork. In addition, they have completed numerous exemplary projects that are both innovative and successful.
Modern and colorful design elements characterize the Sogen Azarea package design. There is a strong emphasis on red and white colors. The bottle label's deep red color has a glossy finish and white background, which gives it a modern, premium, and fresh look.
Sogen Omachi is a Japanese saké brand that produces authentic sake. It is situated in the northern part of Ishikawa Province. They follow the Japanese Omachi sake formula to create the original taste and flavor.
POST HYPHEN from Brooklyn, New York, has designed the sake packaging design for Sogen Omachi. There is a freshness and lightness to the Omachi label packing design.
Sogen's label has a unique logo that expresses its refreshing flavor profile. The package design has a white background and a twisted rope-like pattern with a rainbow touch.
Travel To Okayama
Travel To Okamaya or Kikuchi Saké Brewing Company is in Kurashiki, a tiny, historic town in Okamaya prefecture. Since 1978, the Kikuchi family has been making regional sake using Omachi rice, the oldest sake rice in Japan. With every taste, Okamaya will give you a deeper experience of the essence of Japan.
The LOSQ company is a design company based in Russia. It was their job to develop a new kind of sake packaging design for Travel To Okamaya, and they've already done some stunning work.
This design showcases Kikuchi sake's quality and image uniquely and innovatively. Wraparound packaging features a beautiful illustration of Okamaya, and the design is sleek and modern.
En Sake is one of the top saké brands on the market. En Sake, a Vancouver distillery, gives its sake West Coast flavors. The word "EN" in Japanese means connection, indicating a connection between East and West.
Haluka Yagi from Vancouver, Canada has created the sake packaging design of En Sake. As the designer followed these connections, the vertical typography resembles the upward-and-downward flowing characters in Japanese kanji. Abstract artwork on this brand's package design depicts flowers, grapes, and pine needles used in sake-making.
In 2019, she applied for the Art Student Award (Packaging Design Series). Haluka Yagi won the Shikatani Lacroix Award for Packaging Design (Series) at the 2019 RGD Student Award.
JO-CHU is a saké from the Naorai brand that sold out on a crowdfunding website, exceeding its financial goal. The vision of JO-CHU, the third generation of Japanese sake, is to spread the cultural and economic appeal of Japanese sake to all corners of the world.
NOSIGNER from Yokohama, Japan, is responsible for the sake packaging design of JO-CHU. NOSIGNER is a social design activist who works to bring about change for a better future.
The sake bottle design for JO-CHU stands out compared to other brands, and a paper ribbon crafted with the brand name hangs upside the transparent glass bottle. The design of the external wooden packaging also gives customers a sense of value.
Campi Sake Bottle
Campi is a saké brand that produces high-quality liquor. The recipe preserves the original taste of sake by using the traditional Japanese brewing process.
Guilherme Castellini from Sao Caetano du Sol, Brazil, designed the sake packaging design for the Campi Sake Bottle. Campi's sake bottle got a unique and attractive pattern with the designer's hand. The black bottle has a sleek and matte finish, with a thin paper label attached to the cork.
Formerly, Guilherme Castellini worked in the cosmetics industry. He's now at SENAI Sao Paulo, where he directs projects and research in transportation, medical care, home goods, cosmetics, industrial equipment, business, and electronics.
The name Almatura, which combines the words "soul" and "nature," represents the desire and concern to protect and care for the environment. Using no chemicals or pesticides, it aims to create a viable wine that preserves our environment and its uniqueness.
IRÜBI creative studio is the designer of Almatura sake packaging design. The labels have imperfections since they're handmade. The paper was made from recycled materials using dry leaves and seeds from the vineyard.
The white-label pigment was made by tenderizing the leaves so that the pigment gave it a green tint. The orange label features turmeric, and the red label features wine from the bottles.
Kinoene Natsumoudesake - Hoshiai
Kinoene Natsumodesake-Hoshiai is an auspicious sake given only to attendees of the "Natsumode" ceremony. It is a gift to grant their desires for Tanabata, conducted at Magata Shrine in Sakura. As part of a collaboration with Mr. Iinuma Honke, a brewery in Shisui, Hosiai developed the idea of nomenclature.
Tegusu Inc completed the design development of the sake packaging design for Hoshiai sake. The design studio is located in Yokohama, Japan, and has created many creative and excellent design projects.
A five-color strip of paper called Deep Matte covers Hoshiai's package, which has a silver Milky Way design stamped.
Asif - MAKE Sake Project
Participants in the "MAKE SAKE PROJECT" make a sake called Junmai Ginjoshu. A crowdfunded project called "MAKE SAKE PROJECT" gives participants the chance to make sake at the 300-year-old Iinumahonke brewery.
Masaomi Fujita from Tegusu Inc. is the planner of Make Sake's bottle packaging design. The bottle's glass is transparent green, and even though the Japanese sake's name is "asif" in alphabetical letters, the designer gave it some Japanese vibes.
On the label, kanji characters appear in large letters to refer to the year 2016. It is expected that "asif" will be a series of sake manufacturing experiences with new versions. It will change the look of the sake label every year but not the overall design.
The idea for Hamanoura Sake came from the majestic rice terraces in Hamanoura, Japan. Hamanoura premium filtered Ginjo-Shu Sake has been made using only the best rice from the huge Hamanoura rice fields since 1637.
Larissa Scholtis, a graphic designer from Ontario, Canada, designed the saké package for Hamanoura. Creating clean, simple, and modern designs is what Larissa loves. With expertise in packaging, photography, illustration, video, digital, and print design, she aspires to create a strategic, interdisciplinary design.
Hamanoura's sake packaging design looks more contemporary thanks to the uncluttered, straightforward design. A white background and black printing make their label packaging look simple but elegant.
Four Fox Sake
Four Fox Sake is one of the saké brands with a unique name and quality product. Neil Hosie is a co-founder of this sake. Initially, they planned to use natural components to create the perfect beverage to give customers an unforgettable experience. The sake is made from the snow where the purest water is found.
Carter Hales's Design Lab outlined the Four Fox Sake's package design. The Carter Hales team designed the visual identity, website, and unique bottle for Four Fox Saké, an ultra-premium sake.
On the bottle's profile, a gracefully stamped sword pays homage to ancient swordsmiths who revered Inari. A silver finish and wooden crown suggest a contemporary interpretation of a classic and ultra-premium bottle.
Haccoba - Hanauta Hops & Drops
Haccobba is a Japanese craft sake brand that produces a variety of flavors of sake. Back in the day, making sake from a wide variety of ingredients was a favorite home activity in Japan.
But the licensing system for sake brewing during the Meiji period made it difficult to make sake freely. Hacobba believes free sake brewing is the source of fermentation culture, so they focus on cross-genre sake brewing.
Tomohito Saito from Japan is the art director of Haccuba's sake packaging design. Hacobba's bottle is designed with a transparent green bottle with an aesthetic label on the body. After working at the "Groovisions" studio for 11 years, the designer started a freelance design business in Shizuoka, Japan.
Shiroi is a Sake brand that makes better-quality liquor, and it uses authentic Japanese formulas to produce the best-tasting sake. They have a bunch of sake flavors, including different fruity tastes.
Sofi. ho, from Taipei, Taiwan, is the art director of Shiroi sake packaging design. The packaging of the Shiroi is very sleek and modern, allowing it to stand out from its competitors. The sleek white label with a blue sea and snow mountain allows it to be easily recognizable.
Sofi. ho participated in several exhibitions and competitions and also earned some award recognition. Such as -
- Selected for the Ampersand 2020 International Exhibition logo
- Participated in Shanxi Design Award Poster and got Third Prize
Nihonshi is the corporate branding for one Japanese sake company. Nihonshi is a Japanese term that implies wine or an alcoholic beverage. Calligraphy and ukiyo engravings from the Edo era were part of the Japanese cultural tradition.
The Japanese sea and creatures, such as the octopus and the ink it produces, are also utilized in Japanese calligraphy and serve as Nihonshi's design inspiration.
Monotypo Studio, based in Guadalajara, Mexico, is the sake package designer of Nihonshi. This design studio creates many successful and innovative projects. Their major goal is to make and design a lasting impression on all their projects via beauty, simplicity, aesthetics, and usefulness.
Japanese sake brand Izumi Odeki is based in the twin cities of Izumi City and Katsuragi, located in the Kansai region.
Japanese designer Minako Mihara from Osaka, Japan, was responsible for the sake packaging design of Izumi Odeki. Her impressive portfolio of design work encompasses many categories (cosmetics & skincare, food, etc.).
Yoshiko Nishimura is a local artist who created the label and calligraphy for this sake brand. Utagawa Kuniyoshi designed the wrapping paper following Japanese ukiyo-e artwork, and Minako combined their contributions to the sake package design.
The Hakushika name stands for quality, tradition, and exquisite taste. Their vision is to create the best sake in Nishinomiya as the city's top sake brewer. With traditional Japanese tastes, they think the beauty of fine sake lies both in its intricacies and its pristine simplicity. This way, Hakushika hides the work and care that goes into each bottle.
Olivier Gricourt, a 3D artist from Paris, planned the sake packaging design of Hakushika sake.
The sake bottles combine the traditional Japanese kanji with a clean, contemporary style, making them fun and reusable. Olivier works on high-end CGI visualizations and graphic design.
Sake Yoake is a Japanese sake brand that produces top-quality sakes following authentic sake recipes. Yoake is a Japanese word that means 'Dawn,' which symbolizes Yoake's classic sake's fresh flavor and taste. Yoake is maintaining its classic brand packaging as part of its quality maintenance.
Keita Tsuchiya from Tokyo, Japan, is the sake package designer of Yoake. Since 2018, Keita has been working at Butterfly Stroke Inc as a graphic designer after studying at Kuwasawa Design School. The package design has a unique, sleek, contemporary, and classic look, with royal blue or navy blue as its main color.
玄遠 sake is a sake brand from Japan, and they make their sake following the authentic Japanese method. With high-quality, intact-flavored sake, their vision is to deliver a great experience to their customers.
SANTEN Design is a Japanese Calligraphy logo designer company that outlines 玄遠 sake's packaging design. In addition to creating logos using brush writing, they also design brush letters for titles, logos, and other commercial uses. They have worked for multiple sake brands, which reflects their unique and innovative design ideas.
How Many Types of Sake Are There?
There are five types of sakes available, such as below:
In Junmai-shu, there is no brewer's alcohol added to the Sake. No additional starch or sugar is added to the Sake. Jumnai is represented by a blue crystal color and a Mexican pink label, while a purple crystal color represents Junmai Ginjo. Junmai-shu is made from Seimai Buai, which contains a minimum of 70% milled rice in its composition. The outer layer of the rice grain is only removed to a maximum of 30%. Therefore, no more than 70% of the rice grains maintain their original size.
Although there are no legal specifications on how much-milled rice is to be used in Junmai-shu, breweries must mention this amount on the label to comply with the law.
The Junmai-shu sake is known for its whole and rich body. It has a high acidity level compared to some other types of Sake. However, it is not very fragrant and is usually served hot. In addition to Junmai-shu, different kinds of Sake, such as Ginjo-shu and Daiginjo-shu, can also be regarded as Junmai-shu if they are not infused with alcohol.
In Japanese culture, Sake is more than just a drink - it symbolizes tradition and harmony. Sake is brewed using rice, water, and koji (a fungi), and there are many different types of Sake, each with its unique flavour profile. For example, ginjo-shu is a type of Sake made with rice milled to remove the bran.
This results in a lighter flavour and aroma, and the Sake is often served cold to retain these soothing qualities. Because of the labour-intensive brewing process, Ginjo-shu is considered a premium type of Sake and is often done on special occasions.
Whether enjoying a glass of Ginjo-shu at a sushi restaurant or sharing a bottle with friends, this unique drink will surely add elegance to any occasion.
Like Ginjo-shu, Daiginjo-shu is also made with a rice mash made with sake rice, between 35% and 50%, including milled rice. This type of alcohol tends to be high in fragrance and has a mild taste with a clean finish.
Sake is a beautiful art, and Honjozo-shu is one of the most unique and delicious types of Sake available. As its name suggests, Honjozo-shu uses sake rice that has been milled to a Seimai Buai of 70%.
This means that 70% of the grain retains its original size, while 30% is milled. The resulting Sake is light and smooth, with a distinct aroma that makes it easily identifiable. Honjozo-shu is ideally served warm, making it the perfect drink for a winter evening. Whether you're enjoying it on its own or pairing it with food, Honjozo-shu is sure to delight your senses.
A sake that is not pasteurized is called Namazake. Different types of Sake can be Namazake, such as Junmai-shu, Ginjo-shu, or any other kind of Sake. To keep the flavor and aroma of this type of alcohol consistent, it needs to be refrigerated. There are also different types of Sake, including Jizake, produced by small brewers rather than mass producing. However, this does not always indicate that the Sake is of higher quality.
As the name suggests, unfiltered Sake is also known as Nigori-zake. This style of Sake is cloudy, not transparent like some of the other sake styles. It is also often made with koji rice in the bottle. It is sweet and makes a beautiful dessert sake.
How Can Sake Be Poured?
Ochoko (Small Sake Cups) and Tokkuri (Sake Flask)
A Sake ochoko is a small sake cup that usually has a shape that allows the aroma of the Sake to waft upwards from its glass gently. The tokkuri is a small flask that contains the sake to be poured into the ochoko. The Sake set, which includes both a tokkuri and several ochoko, is one of the most popular souvenirs from Japan.
In addition to coming in various materials and shapes, ochoko are believed to change the taste of Sake based on the size of the cup. The fragrance of Sake is enhanced by using an ochoko with a wide mouth, for example. However, when one wants to taste the full flavor of the Sake properly, it is best to use an ochoko made from thin material. Small sake cups come in a variety of colors and shapes, and they make beautiful souvenirs.
Masu - A Sake Container
The masu is a beautifully simple concept: a wooden box, originally designed as a measuring tool for rice and Sake. It is used primarily as a drinking vessel, and many restaurants serve Sake using masu containers.
The masu is also the perfect size for "mokkiri-zake," a practice in which a glass is placed in the masu and filled until it overflows and fills the masu. This overflowing glass makes the Sake even more tasty and enjoyable. Generally used on ceremonial occasions today, the masu is a popular and cherished part of Japanese culture.
There are many ways of packaging your Sake, but one of the most modern and sophisticated ways is to pack Sake in a glass. This is a common practice at many office parties and meetings as well as business meetings, where the glass enhances the flavor of the Sake, especially when it's served cold. In the prototyping phase, several concepts emerged, including a design for a more complex bottle, which was developed during the prototyping phase.
As a result of their thin rims, glasses are perfect for high-quality, delicate Sake due to their ability to enhance the subtle flavors of the beverage. They are also suitable for capturing the aroma of light-bodied, fruity Sake from the glass.
Sakazuki - Flat Sake Cups
An ancient Shinto ritual and ceremony involved drinking sake from a sakazuki, a wide-mouthed, flat cup for serving Sake.
Two hands are most appropriate for lifting this cup to the mouth: one holds the bottom, and the other holds one side. Sakazukis are available in various sizes, ranging from the smallest to the most significant showpiece, but typically have only a few sips. Sakazuki cups are usually made of porcelain, clay, or lacquered wood and are often beautifully decorated.
Wooden Shuki (Sake Vessels)
In some instances, shuki are made of wood, with a drum-like shape, and the wood's aroma harmonizes with the Sake to make it mild and easy to drink. The Sake will change its taste and become milder when poured into the wooden shuki.
What is the Importance of Packaging Design for Sake Brands?
To create a product packaging design that will stand out from the competition, you must know the appropriate features of a successful and practical design.
The following should be included in a successful packaging design:
It would be best if you always gave your audiences why they should choose your brand over the others when you are a retail entrepreneur. You can quickly communicate your brand message to your audiences using the "why-to-purchase statement." The purpose of the why-to-purchase statement is to explain what the brand does. It should be written in large, bold font. It should be placed at the top of your package.
You must place the product promise statement of your brand at the top of the packaging. The information should be simple and informative so that customers know what the item includes and how they can benefit.
Always remember that packaging design should convey a good brand experience to audiences. Therefore, it should create a "never-to-be-forgotten" introduction to your brand.
It is essential to match the graphic packaging design with the structural packaging of the product. If that does not happen, audiences will lose interest in your brands. You can hire any of the Packaging Companies to handle the graphical packaging of your brands. Audiences will walk away with your brands.
What do you Need to Know About Designing a Winning Own Sake Packaging?
Think About your Packaging Needs
First, decide what you want your product packaging design to achieve before you begin selecting Pantone colors.
This is the most crucial step in the design process for any brand, whether it's just launched or undergoing a refresh. In addition to transporting products, custom-branded packaging builds a brand and delivers on marketing strategy at the same time. Ask yourself these questions:
Choose Your Branding Elements Carefully
The purpose of custom packaging is to help your customer recognize your brand. Therefore, many brands place their logo at the center of the design.
Designing unique products isn't just about putting your spin on things. Instead, it would be best if you aimed to engage and delight your customers through your product (pun intended).
Aim for Simplicity to Stand Out
A design with a lot going on can be tempting because you want to be noticed. However, too much visual noise makes it hard for your customers to process your message. Pared-back designs make you more noticeable when competing brands are vying for attention with colorful or pattern-rich designs.
Shore Society can create an on-brand packaging design without noticeably using its branding elements since it is a nautical-themed clothing brand. To represent the brand's rustic and laidback feel, they use a single color and hand-drawn lines to represent ocean waves.
As an abbreviated monogram form of their brand name, the two 'S' letters on their custom sticker design serve as an anchor.
In your branding strategy, it's easy to use the same symbols for consistency's Sake. However, it will keep your design fresh and unique if you vary your brand elements and theme. In addition, as your brand grows and evolves, you need to change things up a little to ensure it remains dynamic.
Focus on What Makes you Different
Retail is a saturated industry, but it's important to remember that your brand still stands out. Why? Because people behind it bring in their skills and experiences! Custom product packaging presents an excellent opportunity for creative businesses, especially ones that run independently.
Your design imagery sets you apart from the competition when you choose a theme that reflects your industry or aesthetic focus.
Link Back to your Key Selling Channels
You should always consider the customer experience when designing your packaging, which should be considered in the context of the buying phase in which the customer is.
There's no better time to attract their attention to essential marketing channels than when they're about to open their package. As someone prepares to open their box, the moment of anticipation is a great time to draw their attention to essential marketing channels.
Despite keeping the packaging design simple, Notely's branded stickers that feature their name and Instagram handle take center stage. This is the best post-purchase marketing strategy because they target the customer when they are most excited about the product and are most likely to share it with their friends, increasing the chances of repeat purchases or word-of-mouth referrals.
Consider How You Can Use your Packaging Design to Tell a Story.
A packaging design is more than a package; it's a storytelling device that helps you tell the brand's story. Not long ago, a product packaging's audience was limited to one customer. Today, it has an audience of thousands of people.
It takes a picture that conveys a lot to gain traction on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. It can take a bit of creativity to grab our attention in our feeds, and your packaging design is a great way to do that.
Try Flat-lay Photography
Using flat lays to present your products in a theme or collection is an excellent method for demonstrating your products.
As a result, flat-lay photographs can make it difficult for you to stand out from the crowd. Despite what you sell, they must tell a story about your brand to be effective.
It's far more engaging and unique to the online audience to be able to share her narrative in this way rather than just showing off her product range.
Transforming your brand's essence can sometimes be challenging if you cannot interact with customers in person. However, you can get attention by using your packaging in novel ways. A little creativity can go a long way towards showing your audience what kind of brand you are.
Keep it Green
It's common for brands to focus on aesthetics when they think about packaging design. Still, the sustainability of the invention is just as important a factor to consider when making decisions about your packaging design.
Indeed, there is no better way to say that you have gone out of touch with your customers than to give them packaging materials they cannot responsibly dispose of.
As a result of a social media campaign, consumers were encouraged to send their empty crisp packets (which are not recyclable or biodegradable) to the company's headquarters as a protest, resulting in an initiative from the brand promising that they would make all their packaging plastic-free by the year 2025.
In the western world, sake is usually referred to as Japanese rice wine. While this may be true in parts of the world, sake is made using a brewing process similar to that of beer rather than the grape-based process of wine with its natural sugars. Here is what we have learned about sake packaging design so far:
Your packaging should reflect your brand's aesthetic focus.
You should always keep in mind the customer experience when designing your packaging.
Consider how you can use your packaging design to tell a story about your brand.
Sustainability is just as important a factor to consider when making decisions about your packaging design.
Sake is a centuries-old drink that is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. To enter this industry, check out our recommended articles below for more information on sake packaging design and how to create a successful brand.
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